World domination postponed.

I’m sorry to say that Peach Pundit regulars didn’t fare very well last night. I feel bad for your guys but I applaud each of you for having the guts to put your name on the ballot and campaign for the things you believe in. So to Kellie, Jeff, Bill Greene, and Dr. Jay (did I forget anyone?) thanks for running.

In lieu of flowers, let’s celebrate Caesar Mitchell, who had the courage and good sense to visit us at our last Peach Pundit Gathering. With 161 of 170 precinct reporting, Mitchell is clinging to 50% in his race for Atlanta City Council President. Hopefully he’ll hang on and claim the victory.

Finally, thanks to the 406 of you who joined us last night as we live blogged election night. Erick may not know it but he participated as well via Twitter. 🙂

Consider this a post-election day open thread.

43 comments

  1. legaldriver says:

    Let’s also celebrate Snellville voter’s rejection of TADs!

    Despite opinionated stupidity on another Gwinnett County web site, Snellville voters rejected an attempt to approve the use of TADs.
    Hopefully, newly elected Snellville Council Reps will recognize that, rather than ‘keeping up with other Gwinnett cities,’ TADs (1) DON’T produce any new tax revenues to stabilize taxpayer taxes NOW! Maybe, just maybe, a revitalization project will generate some new tax revenue which can be used for such purposes when it’s built-out — but build-out could be a LONG WAY DOWN THE ROAD, and (2) Gwinnett County Commissioners have to approve a bond issue to pay for infrastructure costs — which normally is in the MILLIONS — BEFORE a developer agrees to take on a proposed revitalization project.

    Also, someone please explain why supposedly “innovative” TAD financing for revitalization projects — where a County’s bond debt service costs are paid by ‘predicted’ annual increases in the taxable value of the staged construction of such projects — is considered fool-proof? Reminds one of the fool-proof bulls— bankers banked-on when they handed out scads of sub-prime home loans or the Gwinnett BoC’s ‘prediction’ that naming rights would bring in up to a MILLION dollars to assist in paying down its farm team Stadium’s bond debt (for those who don’t know, the BoC didn’t get ANY bids for naming rights!).

    And don’t let ANYBODY tell you that Gwinnett taxpayers can’t end up on-the-hook for such bond debt. Read HB 63 thoroughly if you think otherwise.

    Finally, why should intelligent voters believe any politician’s/pro-TAD activist’s ‘prediction’ that, based on the last 20+/- go-go years, such an “innovative” TAD financing arrangement is a taxpayer-friendly, fool proof, FUTURE scheme that alternate measures of controlling tax increases can’t better accomplish?

  2. B Balz says:

    More than ‘interesting’ Josh.

    When I saw that, I immediately thought folks are saturated with new expenses and don’t even want to think about more taxes, or continued taxation.

    Then I see press that indicates certain States (VA and NY) rejected Dem candidates. The articles suggest that the global warming tax ‘cap ‘n trade’ and the health industry financing debate may be part of this equation.

    • ByteMe says:

      The question is: why do these questions get scheduled to come up on the ballot during elections that historically have little turn-out? Fayette isn’t the only entity guilty of this; it happens all over the place in GA and it’s ridiculous.

        • ByteMe says:

          Exactly. You’d think that with all the work the state legislature has to, you know, beat up on gays or teen sex “offenders”, that they’d pass a law that any tax-related votes must be held during a major election cycle.

    • Joshua Morris says:

      What’s interesting to me is that the people of Fayette County apparently want one of the following:
      1) Fewer transportation improvements
      2) Higher property taxes

      Since I believe the county will most likely still make transportation improvements, I believe the continued taxation will only take a different form. If I lived in Fayette, I would rather pay sales tax and share the load with everyone that makes a purchase in the county than bear a greater burden as a property owner.

      On the other hand, maybe the list of SPLOST projects was not what the people wanted.

      • B Balz says:

        And then again, d’ya think anyone in Fayette had a clue what was on the list? Not a slam against Fayetians, just that is not usually a “Hey, Hon, did ya see what the transpo plan looks like, this mornin'” type of discussion.

        You have a better chance at winning single deck 21 in Vegas, than you do as ‘everyman’ voting.

  3. @Joshua Morris: I’ve been hearing from some in Fayetteville that the voters in Fayette county were unhappy with the projects funded in the last version of the SPLOST, and don’t trust their County Commissioners. There was a concerted effort to defeat this SPLOST, and nobody in charge of getting it approved. That’s a recipe for failure in this economic/political environment.

  4. Icarus says:

    Re: Fayette

    I’m slammed at work, but it is a subject I pretend to know about, having lived there for about 35 of my 40 years. I’ll attempt a less than graceful explanation.

    Fayette was one of the original Republican counties in Georgia. It’s a low-tax, anti-government population (save the City of Peachtree City where people will pay extra to have seasonal plantings in the medians of roadways).

    We’ve voted down many a SPLOST and bond referendums.

    The county is decidedly anti-infrastructure. Sewer is contained almost exclusively within the cities of Fayetteville and Peachtree City, lest evil developers build on less than 1 acre lots.

    Fayette leaders rejected a (unofficially) proposed spur from I-85 running through the middle of the county down to the Griffin area in the early 80’s because if they built more roads, more people might want to live there.

    The county is changing in many ways, but the residents mostly still distrust governement, growth, change, and hate taxes.

    And none of that, mostly, is intended as a slam or to be negative. It’s just the way it is.

  5. umustbekidding says:

    Just so all of you know, I am fine today. I am actually a little relieved to know that I still won’t have a real schedule and I can continue to waste my time on here. lol 😉

  6. The county is changing in many ways, but the residents mostly still distrust government, growth, change, and hate taxes.

    A sentiment, well earned.

    Douglas County SPLOST passed (allegedly and on it’s 3rd attempt) by only 33 votes (that’s less than 1% of 1%). If there are any groups that “are friends of the tax payers” out there, you might want to give James Bell (http://douglastaxes.com/) a call and to offer assistance in verifying the results. Apparently, people we’re sent to 2 polling places to vote on separate ballots… something smells here. They had to vote half their ballot at one place, other half somewhere else? Has anyone ever heard of this practice?

    • Icarus says:

      Yes. In Fayette. Can’t remember the circumstances, but I believe it also involved a bond issue or SPLOST that coincided with municipal elections. Seems like they had the county wide election consolidated at fewer than normal polling places and the municipal elections in totally separate polling places within the towns that had them.

      Totally off the cuff and from memory. Reality may have been totally different.

      • Similar reasoning given… but seems to me that they should have had a combined ballot at the polling places available for those that it applied to.

        I’d be curious to know what the percentage of drop-off was for those that didn’t bother going and standing in line for a second time for one election… I wonder if SPLOST was on both ballots for those that was in an area more apt to vote for it… (OK, that last one is just me stirring the pudd’n).

        • Icarus is partly right, here’s some more detail: There’s a quirk in the election law that prohibits voters in some precincts from voting on a County question on their City ballots. If the voter lives in a city and votes at say, City Hall, but votes at the Argyle United Methodist Church for their County, State and Federal elections, then they would have to go to both of those two places in the event that a County Special election was held on the same day as a Municipal (City) General election. It’s not really all that uncommon in Georgia. In Douglas County, recent annexations by the City of Douglasville changed some precinct lines, and therefore some voting locations, before the SPLOST vote, so a couple of hundred voters had to go to two locations if they were voting in the city elections AND on the Splost.

          • umustbekidding says:

            Gainesville is like that. It is very confusing having 2 different polling places. Sometimes you might think you are just going to vote in a municipal election so you go to that poll place not knowing that the county has a vote on there so you really need to be at the other polling place.

          • There’s a quirk in the election law that prohibits voters in some precincts from voting on a County question on their City ballots.

            It’s funny when those that are in power to make the laws, blame the laws. Umm, maybe it would be a good thing to change this one… even though, I suspect it was put in place to benefit someone or some thing,…. like maybe make it easier to get a SPLOST passed…. sort of like those weird, middle of the year “special elections” we use to have to contend with.

          • Tricia says:

            I’m going to steal from Kelly: you must be kidding me!

            This falls squarely into the category of why I think I should run the world.

  7. Sleepy Tom says:

    Refresh our collective memories regarding the “great impact” Mr. Erickson had on the race in NY State, please, again?

  8. Down here in Fayette this was a SPLOST renewal. We also passed an E-SPLOST last year. This county is not anti-SPLOST per se.

    However, even with the support Fayette political legend Randall Johnson (the longtime former sheriff), this thing didn’t have a snowball’s chance. Property taxes might go up, which is unfortunate, but it just wasn’t a popular SPLOST. The biggest item on the list was paying off the lease on a Justice Center complex that is already in use to save on future interest payments.

    I felt like the local officials should have put an aquatic center or a performing arts center on the project list (longtime pet projects of certain groups here in the county), but they felt like the “pass the SPLOST so we don’t have to raise property taxes” sell was going to get more votes…

    It also doesn’t help that the current transportation SPLOST has been extremely controversial because of the construction of the new West Fayetteville bypass.

    here’s my story on the SPLOST:
    http://www.fayette-news.com/article.php?id_news=4517

    (threre’s more about it on the archives on that same site)

    • Icarus says:

      Welcome to Peach Pundit Trey. I think we met about six months ago when we were both guests at Peachtree City’s Toastmasters Club.

      I still work out of PTC, but don’t keep up with the local political scene much at all.

      Stick around and keep us honest.

    • Property taxes might go up, which is unfortunate, but it just wasn’t a popular SPLOST.

      T from F,

      This is the biggest misunderstood and misconception of SPLOST. The fact of the mater is that SPLOST causes property taxes to increase. Not all, but most targeted tax like a SPLOST causes government spending to be skewed (much like the cash for clunkers skewed auto sales in the car market… what would have happened over time, is consolidated, timeline wise, and pulled forward )… afterwards other taxes must be raised so spending can occur in other areas needed to provide the services and infrastructure to support the new construction that is now needed due to the SPLOST spending in order to get back to a balanced situation. Example… SPLOST results in major new construction that now occurs more quickly than would have occurred normally…. now there’s the need for staffing, maintenance, utility and other infrastructure to support the new facilities… where’s that money come from? Most likely an increase in property tax. SPLOST is a taxpayer trap, plain and simple.

      • Joshua Morris says:

        Daniel, while I agree with your point about the future costs not considered for many typical SPLOST projects, I still would rather pay sales tax than property tax, if I have to choose. Necessary items, like transportation projects, are good candidates for SPLOST projects, IMO.

        A good example of your point is the aquatic center recently built in the City of Gainesville. The city council just decided to put a fitness center in the facility to try to increase revenue, while the YMCA is a stone’s throw away. So not only are they struggling with operating costs, they’re now directly competing with local businesses. It’s just a bad situation created with bad ideas.

  9. The following candidates and members of the Libertatarian Party of Georgia participated in this Tuesday’s elections:

    Chris Neill: Marietta Mayor: 14%

    Karen Richardson: John’s Creek City Council: Re-elected ran unopposed.

    Richard Segal: Douglasville City Council Ward 2: 41%

    Jeffrey Sexton: Leesburg City Council: 22%

    Kellie Weeks: Gainesville City School Board, Ward 1: 32%

    Dr. Thomas Smoot: Valdosta School Board: 24%

    Thank you all for your countless hours of work in sending the message of Liberty to all of Georgia. Your efforts are greatly appreciated by all of us at the Libertarian Party of Georgia!

    And before Farris makes his comment, just keep the level of resources in mind….

    I’m proud of each and everyone of these people for putting their hat in the ring and giving some of the good people of Georgia a Choice and moving Liberty forward. Thank You!

  10. NorthGAGOP says:

    Guess Sexton’s comments on New Orleans, and saying that the voting system in the US is like Iran worked really well for him.

    Kellie is a great women, I hope she keeps engaged and runs again in the future.

    • Jeff says:

      a) I was right on both accounts.

      b) I can track traffic just like any other blog, and we didn’t get that much coming from Leesburg over the past couple of months. No, this was apathy on the part of the people I was targeting along with the “Old Guard” rallying around their own. I can show proof of two times in the last three weeks where the Mayor, who also owns/publishes the local newspaper, has violated journalistic ethics by lieing and plagiarizing to help out his friend, the Mayor Pro-Tem, my opponent.

      More than anything, this was a learning experience for me. I was literally planning the campaign by the seat of my pants, and I was doing everything on my own. Next time I will organize my team better and actually ask for their help, and I will also (hopefully) do a much better job of fundraising so that I can do an even better job getting the message out that a) there is an election going on and b) I’m the better choice in that election.

      Here is exactly what happened: On , the Albany Herald said that all races in Leesburg were expected to be unopposed. On Aug 31, I mentioned that I detested unopposed elections and was considering putting my own skin in the game. On Sept 2, I paid the filing fee and became an official candidate.

      This was my first time, and I’ll readily admit I had precisely ZERO clue what I was doing. Now I’ve learned a few things, and I’ve already announced my intentions to come right back in 2011 and use what I’ve learned.

      But hey, considering that a decently large percentage of even the people that read this illustrious forum have never run for office themselves, I’ll leave you with the same statement I was telling myself for four days in August and September.

      Put up, or shut up.

      • benevolus says:

        Oh, you don’t want me running for anything. I don’t even want me running for anything.
        We don’t all have the same skills or backgrounds. Just because I am not a good candidate does not mean I should “shut up”.

  11. legaldriver says:

    Much speculation why cities/counties are rejecting TADs and SPLOSTs. The spec is all over the lot — from no pro-publicity to these issues appearing on off-year ballots. It seems only a few posters are zeroing in on the real reasons, namely: (1) TADs DON’T do what pols and pro-activists claim they will do, (2) SPLOSTs effectively CAUSE other taxes to be increased, and (3) voting taxpayers are wising-up to these FACTs.

    TADs were DEFEATED in Douglasville and Douglas County IN ADDITION TO Snellville. Now that the prevailing ‘wisdom’ (if you want to pass a tax issue, put it on an off-year/special ballot because that’s when voter turn-out is low and proponents are able to get a majority to the polls) appears to be tanking, the new paradigm is to put tax issues on national ballots and then they’ll pass. Lots of luck with that approach!

  12. Jeff says:

    Benevolus:

    It is about overcoming yourself. If you really think your ideas could work, and the person currently holding the office is doing the exact opposite of what you would, why not challenge them – particularly locally? I can understand a “nobody” not challenging a Congressman or statewide candidate or even a member of the General Assembly. But for something like City Council or other local level offices, why not? I honestly had a great experience this time, even though I lost. I’m genuinely looking forward to the 2011 campaign.

    Even if you only do it once, this is one of those things that you can be proud of for the rest of your life – even if you lose.

    And let’s face it, other than the $200 that I would have blown anyway, what have I truly lost here? NOTHING! Complete win-win, and I’m seriously not going to let the words of someone who would never DARE put their own name on a ballot convince me different.

    • benevolus says:

      I can tell you why not.
      For whatever reason I am not a good public speaker. In fact I’m really bad.
      I went to college in the 70’s.
      I have had brain surgery.
      In real life I abhor confrontations.
      I am uncomfortable in all but the most casual social situations.

      I would have a heart attack about three days into a campaign. But that doesn’t mean there is no venue for me to express my ideas. The concept that running for office is the only legitimate way to express yourself is flawed.

      I don’t think anyone is trying to convince you that it is not a win-win for YOU. But just because that is your experience doesn’t mean it is automatically the same for everyone else.

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